Sorority olympics help collect food

The Alpha Phi sorority claimed victory Sunday at the Watermelon Fest Olympics, an annual two-day competition that collects non-perishable food and money for charity. Eight sororities participated this year.

The Olympics, held on the Quad at noon, consisted of eight events including a melon toss, honeydew bowling and a watermelon seed-spitting contest. Each team earned points for the place they finished in each race as well as for donating canned food to charity.

“As soon as we found out about the event, we started working (to win),” Alphi Phi member Lauren Davis said.

Alphi Phi won a trophy and a dinner cooked by members of Lambda Chi Alpha, the fraternity that organized the event.

The Watemelon Fest is a tradition among Lambda Chi Alpha chapters throughout the country. GW has held five competitions since 1998, said Josh Lurie, philanthropy chair for GW’s chapter. The fraternity supplied two captains to each sorority team to train and encourage members.

“I think it’s kind of nice that they have members of Lambda Chi participating,” said Stephanie Lee, a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, which came in second place after winning the lip sync contest held in the Mitchell Hall theater Saturday night. The lip sync was held as part of the Watermelon Fest.

The team won the contest with a medley of Michael Jackson songs.

Lambda Chi Alpha collected entrance fees of $60 per group and hundreds of cans from the sororities, and more than 5,000 meal point donations from students, totaling the equivalent of 25,000 pounds of food, according to Philip Ng, social chair of the fraternity. All GW Students were able to donate their meal points at Provisions April 2-4.

The champion, Alpha Phi, brought a garbage bag full of canned food to the Olympics.

“We cleared out Provisions in terms of cans,” Davis said.

Although some sorority members said winning the Watermelon Fest can bring prestige and pride to a sorority, Alpha Phi member Jess Altschul, a sophomore, said charity was the main goal and that “winning is secondary.”

The money, canned food and meal points collected for the Watermelon Fest will be donated to the D.C. Capital Area Food Bank.

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